Session B9: Phase Transitions, Dynamics, and Excitations

11:15 AM–2:03 PM, Monday, March 13, 2006
Baltimore Convention Center Room: 301

Sponsoring Unit: DCMP
Chair: Alberto Pimpinelli, Université Blaise Pascal

Abstract ID: BAPS.2006.MAR.B9.1

Abstract: B9.00001 : Competing periodicities in fractionally filled quasi-1D bands

11:15 AM–11:27 AM

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  P.C. Snijders
    (Kavli Institute of Nanoscience)

  S. Rogge
    (Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft, The Netherlands)

  H.H. Weitering
    (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA)

We present a variable temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy (STM and STS) study of the Si(553)-Au atomic chain reconstruction. This quasi one-dimensional (1D) system undergoes at least two charge density wave (CDW) transitions at low temperature, which can be attributed to electronic instabilities in the fractionally-filled 1D bands of the high-symmetry phase. Upon cooling, Si(553)-Au first undergoes a single-band Peierls distortion, resulting in period doubling along the imaged chains. This Peierls state is ultimately overcome by a competing tripleperiod CDW, which in turn is accompanied by a $\times $2 periodicity in between the chains. These locked-in periodicities indicate small charge transfer between the nearly half-filled and quarter-filled 1D bands. The mobility of atomic scale dislocations in the $\times $3 CDW state indicates the possibility of manipulating phase solitons carrying a (spin,charge) of (1/2,$\pm $e/3) or (0,$\pm $2e/3).

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